by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Sternklare Nacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE
Meine Seele, kannst du nicht beten?
Sieh, wie die Sterne wunderbar 
Aus der gewölbten Bläue treten.
Und droben leuchten schön und klar.

Das sind die Lichter deren Glänzen
Dich ehemals so tief entzückt.
Und die du mit den bunten Kränzen
Verliebter Lieder hast geschmückt.

Ich fühle wohl wie du bezwungen
Vor der [gestirnten]1 Nacht dich [neigst]2 --
Sind deine Lieder alle versungen,
O meine Seele, daß du schweigst?

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 122.

1 Patrick: "getarnten"
2 sometimes incorrectly given as "zeigst"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Beate Binnig) , "Starry night", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Starlit night", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Nuit étoilée", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Roland Kupper

This text was added to the website: 2008-11-17
Line count: 12
Word count: 67

Starlit night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
My soul, can you not pray?
See how wondrously the stars
Emerge from the vaulted blue.
And shine above, beautiful and clear.

Those are the lights whose sparkling
Once enraptured you so deeply.
And which you adorned with 
The colourful wreaths of lovestruck songs.

Indeed I feel how, conquered, you
[Bow down]1 before the [starry]2 night --
Are all your songs sung out,
Oh my soul, that you remain silent?

View original text (without footnotes)
1 sometimes incorrectly given as "show yourself"
2 Patrick: "disguised"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2019-02-21
Line count: 12
Word count: 69